Unfortunately, the roofing industry has a black eye. Far too many contractors use day laborers who don’t have specialized training, and there are too many stories of roofers taking a deposit and then skipping out on the job. Sometimes roofers drop the ball when it comes to tasks as simple as showing up to meet in person, providing a detailed estimate, or arriving in a company vehicle instead of a personal car.
Luckily, there are many ways that you can identify a good contractor. You should apply these techniques to Proven Contracting as much as any other company so that you can verify that the service you are going to receive is top-notch.
To begin with, you want to confirm that your contractor is licensed and insured. It may look like you’re saving money by not paying for insurance and overhead, but there’s a cost to that expense. And that cost is peace of mind and the quality of the workmanship you’re about to receive.
Conduct proper due diligence by checking reviews online. Google business listings, Yelp, Home Advisor, and Angie’s List, are places where customers leave their reviews. If a company has excellent reviews across the board, that’s a sign that you’ve found the right contractor for the job! Also, consult the Better Business Bureau for unresolved complaints and the Department of Consumer Affairs.
Ask your contractor for references. Your contractor should be able to give you the contact information of several recent customers and jobs that are scheduled in the weeks to come. That way, you can show up and watch your contractor at work. Remember, a roof replacement is, on average, $10,000.
You don’t want to commit that much money when you’re not certain! If your contractor struggles to come up with references, then that’s a red flag! Every previously satisfied customer is a potential reference. If your contractor has enough customers to support a business, they have enough customers to provide a reference!
Meet your contractor face to face. You’ll be able to learn a lot in person. Actually showing up is a good sign in and of itself. You may be surprised to learn how important a follow through on the initial steps is. Some contractors will simply not show up! Calling back is also important, as is attention to detail and follow-through. If your contractor shows up in a personal vehicle and not a commercial truck, that’s a red flag.
Also, take note of how detailed the estimate is. Is the scope of the work very clearly laid out, or are you just getting a number? It’s not uncommon for a contractor to walk around your home and say, “I can do it for six grand” But then you should ask, “Do what?” You want a detailed estimate so that when another contractor shows up and asks, “Where’s the estimate?” your answer is more thorough than, “oh, they just told me a number.”
Using a local contractor is a big deal. If you live in Middletown, there’s a lot of value in going with a contractor with a proven track record in your area, as opposed to getting someone who’s coming in from Pennsylvania. Sure, your roofer from PA might be great, but that’s not the same as hiring someone you can ask your friends and neighbors about. If you’re driving around your neck of the woods and see someone displaying a sign in their yard because they recently had a roof installed by a local contractor, that’s a positive sign. You wouldn’t stick a sign in your lawn advertising a contractor who did shoddy work!
Be wary of any company that sends out salespeople as opposed to the actual contractors. A suit and tie that comes in a personal vehicle may be more interested in making a sale than the quality of the company’s workmanship. A salesperson may also not be an expert. Also, take note that you get a different level of attention from an owner than from a salesperson or employee. That sort of personal touch and intimacy of experience is something you just can’t put a price tag on. That’s something unique to Proven Contracting, and it’s something people love about us!
Many manufacturers award titles to contractors. GFA, for example, is a manufacturer of high-quality roofing materials, and they’ve awarded Proven Contracting the Title of Master Elite. That means that GFA trusts the workmanship of Proven Contracting enough to put their stamp of approval on our company.
Since Proven Contracting uses only GFA products, all of our materials are covered by the same manufacturer’s warranty. This means you don’t have to go to a variety of sources in the event of defective materials. Although, given the quality of what GFA produces, faulty materials are unlikely. Additionally, more often than not, it’s the case that if a young roof needs repairs, it’s the result of poor workmanship rather than defective materials. Proven Contracting stands by its workmanship, and provides a warranty to back it up!
You can tell a company is committed to its quality when it turns down jobs that it thinks will compromise its reputation. Proven Contracting, for example, consistently recommends replacing a roof that’s greater than 15-years old. That’s because the markers of a roof in need of repairs at that age are a sign that you should have already gotten your roof replaced.
By the time your roof needs repairs when it’s that old, just being on the roof may compromise its integrity. That’s because manipulating old shingles around to make space for new shingles means you’re going to end up potentially damaging old, brittle shingles! Then there’s the fact that spot repairs only delay the inevitable, and your better off putting that money toward replacing your roof rather than throwing it away.
Proven Contracting will also advise against putting a second layer of shingles on your roof. You may think it’ll make your roof more water-resistant, but it won’t! It compromises the integrity of your roof because neither your roof nor your first layer of shingles is designed to have a second layer of shingles sitting on top of them! That much stress and pressure may damage your frame or roof rafter system. It will also set the stage for mold and algae growth since you’ll be sealing in moisture and adding darkness to your first layer of shingles.
Proven Contracting also won’t take a job if the weather isn’t right. If it’s under 40 degrees, there won’t be enough radiant heat from the sun to activate the adhesive strips that bind shingles to your roof. And if it’s 95 degrees, it’ll be 130 degrees on your roof since shingles are a beacon for heat. That’ll put their safety at risk and compromise their workmanship. Employees won’t even be able to touch the shingles without gloves on!
Additionally, at a temperature that high, there’s a significant risk of smudging. This is what happens when the shingles are hot enough that the fiberglass that makes them water-resistant comes off when enough pressure is applied–like the pressure the balls of one’s feet provide when moving around a hot roof or the pressure of a ladder being used. Conditions that hot aren’t safe for our workers since they can experience dehydration and heatstroke. A better day will come around soon enough, and when it does, we’ll be there!
You know you’re dealing with a good contractor when they take their work seriously enough to do it in the right conditions and in the right way!
Proven Contracting appreciates that a roof replacement is pricey and that not everyone has the funds right away and that some people are debt-averse. Luckily, Proven Contracting is approved to put together a financing plan that works right for you. If what it takes for you to get the roof you need is payments of $138 a month, then Proven Contracting will make that work for you!
Your roof is one of the most important investments you can make in your home, and delaying a replacement when you need it can lead to much greater damage down the line, so Proven Contracting will make sure you get the roof you need!
Take all the measures possible to make sure you end up with the roofing contractor you deserve. Proven Contracting is confident enough that it’ll meet those criteria. That’s why we’ve laid out all the steps you can take! Check all our reviews, talk to our previous customers, and meet us face to face to judge for yourself. We definitely won’t show up in a personal vehicle!